Please see the following UPDATED schedule for your boating lineups and training days until CSSRAs:
Monday, June 1st: Sr. Men’s 1x – Luke Jr. Men’s 1x – Erik Jr. Men’s 2x (Justice) – Harrison & Lucas Sr. Men’s 2x (Bishop Ryan) – Max & Kieran
PM: Club 1x (Luke) option with Alethia Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x (Justice) – JJ & Cooper with Alessandra
Tuesday, June 2nd: Sr. Men’s 1x – Luke Jr. Men’s 1x – Erik Jr. Men’s 2x (Justice) – Harrison & Lucas Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x (STM) – JJ & Cooper
PM: Sr. Men’s 2x (Stocks) – Max & Kieran with Alessandra
Wednesday, June 3rd: (Derig/Trailer Loading) Sr. Men’s 4x (Ad Astra) – Luke/Max/Kieran/Erik Jr. Men’s 2x (Justice) – Harrison & Lucas Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x (STM) – JJ & Cooper *derig the Ad Astra, Justice, and Stocks after practice and load to the trailer
PM: Club 1x (Luke) option with Alethia before car-topping & transporting 1x to St. Kitt’s
Thursday, June 4th (St. Kitt’s Practice Day): Practice at LBC:
Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x (STM) – JJ & Cooper Practice at St. Catherine’s: *Luke & JJ away for graduation formal *Meet Alessandra at 11am in Westdale Secondary School parking lot by the gates to the football field. The bus will leave immediately following attendance.
Jr. Men’s 1x
Jr. Men’s 2x
Sr. Men’s 2x
Friday, June 5th – Sunday, June 7th = CSSRAs (info can be found here).
Please review this schedule carefully and contact me if you have any questions/concerns.
I’m aware that some of you are being asked to train occasionally during the PM session in order to accommodate equipment availability. Please understand that this is due to equipment limitations and boating ratio limits. If anything changes, I will let you know immediately. I appreciate your flexibility during this final week.
1) Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring an extra change of workout clothes every day. This will help ensure that you are ready for both on-water AND off-water practices (you need those runners & those layers!), and will ensure that you’ve got something to change into if your boat capsizes. This is very important as we want you all to be healthy and safe. Hypothermia (or even generally being cold) isn’t fun – let’s do everything we can to avoid the cold weather risks.
2) Clothing “Swag” Order deadlines have been extended until tomorrow (Tuesday, April 21st) morning’s practice. I will also collect final forms tomorrow afternoon at the PM practice. We’re lucky to have been given the one-day extension, so if you didn’t have a chance to place your order today, then please ensure you’re ready with your order form & payment by tomorrow. If you need to print off an order form, you can find one here: Westdale Rowing Apparel 2015 (Order Forms)
3) Coach Tom has a message for everyone, so please see below for his post 🙂
The other day in my introduction, I shared with you the quote that means the most to me in rowing: “What the mind believes, the body will deliver”. There are a couple of stories that I’d like to share with you.
In 2007 while I was coaching at Christchurch Girls High School in New Zealand, a 14-year old girl showed up to training. I knew Grace because I coached her sister and I had Grace pencilled in as a potential coxswain. At the time, she was under 5 feet tall and weighed 49kg (108 pounds). Grace insisted that she wanted to row, and as was our policy, she was not denied the opportunity to try. At a December erg test, Grace pulled 7:59 on her 2K test. That is not a misprint. Adjusted, that is an erg score of about 6:35. Not bad for a 14-year old!!!! I’ve posted a picture of Grace below at our January 2008 training camp at Lake Rotoiti. It’s one of my favourite pictures. She rowed 14km that day and had the biggest grin I’ve ever seen after it!
Grace went on that season to stroke the U15 4+ of girls not much bigger than she was, to a bronze medal in the biggest event of the program at the NZ Secondary Schools Championships of 64 crews. She then put on a growth spurt and represented her country at the 2011 Junior World Champs, winning a bronze medal. She is currently a junior in the University of Washington Women Huskies Varsity 8+. To this day, that erg test, and what this kid accomplished in that season, is the most amazing thing in rowing that I’ve ever seen.
A close second, and a great example of “What the mind believes, the body will deliver” is again, a Kiwi-themed story. Below is a picture of the gold medal winning double from New Zealand at the 2012 Olympics in London. Joe Sullivan and Nathan Cohen overcame a significant size difference, not to mention a deficit in the final 500 metres, to make a stunning run home to the finish and take the gold medal.
What do these stories tell us? I think they tell us that heart and an absolute will to get the job done, are tools that are as essential as anything else…maybe even the MOST important tools you can have. We never want to limit our potential based on what we THINK is a limitation. The common belief in our sport is that “Tall will Beat Small”, and that does happen too. But no matter who you are: tall, small, novice or experienced, I encourage you to open up your mind to the possibilities of what you can achieve and GO FOR IT LIKE NEVER BEFORE! It’s a great attitude to have in a boat….and one that will allow you and your crew to aim for new heights every time out.
One final thought. I encourage and challenge all of you to do something to make your crew better. Improving YOUR erg scores gives you a faster boat. Improving YOUR flexibility gives you a longer stroke. Making technical improvements to YOUR stroke pattern limits the drag on boat speed. YOU are responsible for YOUR speed on the water.
Welcome back from March Break & to the official start of outdoor season training! 😀
WOOHOOO OMG WOOHOO
IMPORTANT DATES FOR PARENTS & ATHLETES:
-Wednesday, March 25th, 3-4pm:SWIM TEST FOR ALL NOVICES @ Dalewood Swimming Pool *mandatory for all new rowers* athletes must wear cold-weather clothing for the swim test in order to mimic falling in the water during the outdoor season – this means LONG SLEEVES & LONG PANTS. Due to the timing, rowers completing the swim test are asked to leave their last period class about 10-15minutes early to give enough time to walk to the pool. -Thursday, March 26th, 7pm:Parent & Athlete Meeting (Outdoor Season Waivers/Chili Cookoff/Training Schedule) @ WSS Library *mandatory for all* -Sunday, March 29th, 12-3pm:Tank Session (*mandatory for all*) @ Welland International Flatwater Centre (directions here: https://goo.gl/maps/ZLgb9) -Wednesday, April 1st, 3:30-5pm: Women’s Team Rigging & LBC Rules @ LBC *women’s team only* -Thursday, April 2nd, 3:30-5pm: Men’s Team Rigging & LBC Rules @ LBC *men’s team only* -Saturday, April 4th, 9-11am+ CREWLUNCH: Docks In @LBC, followed by a crew lunch (whole team). Coxswains & bow-persons will be taken in the coach boat during the docks-in session for a loop around the harbour to observe traffic patterns & safety spots if clear. If required, I can provide a ride for coswains & bow-persons to the crew lunch (if your rides have already left). ***Steffan will also hold a special coxing/bowing clinic from 1-3pm for new coxswains & bow-persons only. I highly advise new coxswains & bow-persons to attend (you can go right after the crew lunch).
NOTE: To the men participating in the MCC exam, I also have my OSCE dry-run on April 2nd at 6pm, so I can bring you all to McMaster Hospital if you need a ride post-rigging at LBC. Just let me know in advance.
TRAINING PLAN MARCH 23rd-29th: *Testing & Movement Screening Week*
Monday, March 23rd: Men – Team Meeting, 30min Erg (20/22spm) + 10min Tech Erg, Stretching & Debrief Women – Team Meeting, Warmup Run, Weights, Cooldown & Stretching/Debrief
Tuesday, March 24th: Men – Warmup in Lower Gym, Overview of Movement Screening; Weights/Movement Screen; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief Women – Warmup; Tech Erg Rotations with Core Circuit (300 circuit/25min tech erg); Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Wednesday, March 25th: *Swim Testing @3pm (Dalewood Pool)* Men – Warmup in Middle Gym, 2km Erg Testing, Core Circuit, Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief Women – Warmup; Weights; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Thursday, March 26th:*Parents & Athlete Meeting @7pm (WSS Library)* Men – Warmup in Lower Gym, Weights & Movement Screening; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief Women – Warmup; 2km Erg Testing; Core Circuit; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Friday, March 27th: Men – Warmup in Lower Gym, Cardio & Core Circuit; Movement Screening; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief Women – Warmup; 25min Tech Erg Rotations (run/erg/core); Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Saturday, March 28th: OFF
Sunday, March 29th: *Tank Session in Welland* ALL ATHLETES – 12-3pm Tank Session at the Welland International Flatwater Centre (directions here: https://goo.gl/maps/ZLgb9)
1) Parent’s Meeting – Thursday, March 26th @7pm in the WSS Library
Mark your calendars: Thursday, April 16th will be the night of Westdale Rowing’s Infamous Chili Cookoff! PREPARE YOUR CROCKPOTS. GET READY FOR A SHOWDOWN. EMPTY STOMACHS WILL BE FILLED. The winner is still to be determined…
The parent’s meeting on Thursday March 26th at 7pm in the WSS library will address the Chili Cookoff (which has been organized by the Parent Reps), as well as important outdoor rowing information (fees, waivers, regatta dates, safety requirements, practice schedule/training requirements at LBC).
2) March Break Training – Monday, March 16th from 6-8am @LBC
There will be one official “At LBC” practice held over March break this year. The team practice will run on Monday, March 16th, from 6-8am at Leander Boat Club. The rest of the week will be comprised of workouts that athletes can complete at home on their own time – these workouts will be posted to this blog. If athletes would like additional assistance with technical development on the erg or on the tank aside from Monday’s practice, then they should contact Alessandra with their availability & the name of a partner that would join in the practice (there must be at least 2 athletes for an extra practice to be held).
3) Welland Tank Session – Sunday, March 29th from 12-3pm @WIFC
We will be holding a mandatory tank session for ALL outdoor rowers on the Men’s & Women’s Teams. The tank session is booked for Sunday, March 29th, and will run from 12-3pm at the Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC). Plan to be there for the entire session, as we will be rotating athletes through the tank & the gym (for information on the facilities available, click here). Directions can be found here, but will also be posted closer to the session date.
See you all tomorrow for the coach-swap,
It’s hard to adequately express how proud Mike & I are with all of your races today. You all worked SO hard (just as you did yesterday), with two of our crews advancing into the finals & all other crews completing very hard and well rowed semifinals & heats. Racing at CSSRAs is a big deal, and you’ve all tasted what it’s like now. I hope you’ve enjoyed every minute of it – even if you do feel that things are bittersweet after a race! That’s completely normal – we’ve all been there 🙂
A few things for tomorrow’s SUPER EXCITING finals & party:
1) Arrival Time for all Athletes/Parents (crew brunch)
Arrival time for all athletes & parents will be 11:30am. Enjoy the sleep in, it’s rare in this sport! The Gadsdon’s & helpers will be cooking up a lovely brunch for all our athletes & parents once you’ve arrived.
“Finals” Races on Sunday are as follows:
-Sr. Men’s 1x (Luke G.) @1:56pm
-Jr. Women’s 8+ (Tristan W., Maddy M., Claire G., Lauren G., Victoria C., Taylor B., Rachel S., Sophia S., Astara T.) @ 3:18pm
***Please note that weigh-ins close at 8:30am, so you must weigh in with Mike before that time (TristanThisMeansYou!)***
2) End-of-Year Party (ALL athletes & parents are welcome!)
The end-of-year party will be held at 7pm at the Westdale Kelsey’s on Main St. West (across from the school) in the Party Room (downstairs – just ask for Westdale Rowing). ALL athletes and parents are invited. This includes athletes that practiced in afternoons, injured athletes, and/or rowers that completed their season with the City Champs.
We will be handing out the following awards (***oooooh, ahhhh, awards!***) at the party:
-Jr. Men’s & Women’s Indoor MVP
-Jr. Men’s & Women’s Outdoor MVP
-Sr. Men’s & Women’s Indoor MVP
-Sr. Men’s & Women’s Outdoor MVP
-Most Improved Player (Rower) “MIP”
-Men’s Rookie of the Year
-Women’s Rookie of the Year
Aubrey will also be continuing the tradition of handing out westdale toques for those that made CSSRA finals.
I really hope to see you all there tomorrow at CSSRAs AND at the party, because I will miss you all immensly and will be incredibly sad if I can’t say goodbye before you flee off for the summer!
Congratulations on a day well raced! Many of you had great races, regardless of whether you placed for the semifinals, and you should ALL be proud of yourselves. Making it to CSSRAs is a HUGE accomplishment, and you are racing against the best of the best from around the country (and continent, more often than not)!
Saturday’s Races & Arrival Times (Weigh-Ins too!):
All athletes (and parents) should arrive at the course for 9:30am & head directly to the Parents’ Tent with any food for the crew breakfast. The Gadsdons (and helpers) will be preparing a crew breakfast for all athletes while the lightweights weigh-in shortly after arriving at 9:30am and stopping by the parents’ tent.
Weigh-ins close at 10:30am, so arriving at 9:30am gives you time to stop by the Parents’ Tent, drop off your food, head to weigh-in, and return for the crew breakfast 🙂 Athletes that ARE NOT weighing in should still arrive at 9:30am to join in the crew breakfast (please bring your scheduled food contributions, as per the google document), and we can have a quick team-prep discussion for the races.
Three of our men’s crews have made it on to the semifinals and will be racing tomorrow. These crews are the Sr. Men’s 1x (Luke), the Sr. Men’s 4x (Luke, Lucas, Erik, Max), and the Jr. Men’s 2x (Erik, Max).
Two of our Jr. Women’s crews will also be racing tomorrow, for their respective heats (first time racing at CSSRAs). These crews are the Jr. Women’s 59kg 4+ (Will, Katie, Sadie, Louise, Stephanie), and the Jr/Sr. Women’s 8+ (Tristan/Kiri, Maddy, Claire, Lauren, Victoria, Taylor, Rachel, Sophia, Astara).
Please be sure to arrive at 9:30am (with the food contributions) and come prepared to cheer these crews on 🙂
GOOD LUCK WARRIORS!
To those of you at prom tonight, have an AMAZING evening 🙂
This is it! CSSRAs are here. Thank you to everybody at today’s St. Kitt’s practice for unloading the trailer, rigging the boats, and assisting with blade & pin measurements. We had an effective 2 hours on-water and all crews should be ready for tomorrow’s (or Saturday’s) races (depending on your crew). Please find the information you need for tomorrow’s races, including arrival times, racing times, and important road directions.
1) NEW Directions due to construction:
-From the QEW Niagara: Drive PAST 7th Street Exit (the exit normally used) and take the Ontario St. Exit instead (due to construction).
-Turn LEFT at Ontario St. and continue until you hit Lakeport Road.
-Turn LEFT onto Lakeport Rd. and follow it through the town of Port Dalhousie (it’s a bit windy & you’ll see the race course to your left-hand side).
-Turn LEFT at stoplights (near the Tim Horton’s & Regatta Sport store) onto Lock St., and turn LEFT at the first stop-sign onto Main St. (shortly after the stoplights).
-Turn LEFT onto Henley Island Drive
…or just click this google link for directions from WSS to the island: https://goo.gl/maps/689dY
2) Arrival Times (including Weigh-Ins for coxswains & rowers):
Please arrive 2-3h before your race, unless told otherwise by your coach. Please remember your PHOTO ID STUDENT CARD. Failure to bring the student card photo ID will result in your race being scratched. Coxswains & rowers weighing in (Jr. Women’s 4+ coxswain & Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x) must weigh in BEFORE 11am, because weigh-ins close at 11am. Weigh-ins must occur in full unisuit & racing gear (no extra clothing) and you must have your student card/Photo ID. Weigh-in rules can be found here: http://www.cssra.ca/#/weigh-in-rules/4564679539
***YOU MUST COLLECT A WRIST-BAND FROM ME OR MIKE IN ORDER TO RACE, AS SOON AS YOU ARRIVE***
In order to make things easy for everyone, I’ve included arrival times beside the boats racing on Friday. For those of you with TWO races (i.e.: Jr. Men’s 2x, Sr. Women’s 1x, Sr. Women’s 2x), I’ve only listed your earliest race because that’s the earliest time you need to arrive by. Here are your arrival times, by the (earliest) boat you race:
Jr. Women’s 4+: arrive at 8am (race at 10am) Sr. Women’s 63kg 1x: arrive at 8:45am (race at 10:45am) Sr. Women’s 4x: arrive at 9am (race at 11:06am) Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x: arrive at 9:55am (race at 10:55am) – UNLESS you want to weigh-in early, in which case arrive earlier Sr. Men’s 1x: arrive at 10:51am (race at 12:51pm) Sr. Men’s 4x: arrive at 12pm (race at 2:08pm)
***Please note: The Jr. Women’s 59kg 4+ and the Jr./Sr. Women’s 8+ will race their first race on SATURDAY, not on Friday.
3) Must-Bring Items:
-YOU, UNINJURED & READY 🙂
-Student ID (with photo – must be photo ID)
-Unisuit & racing gear (socks, sandals/shoes, etc.)
-Extra clothes to stay appropriately warm OR cool
-Food (the Parents’ Tent will have food, but please bring some extra HEALTHY food for snacking between races or before a race)
-Water bottle (the Parents’ Tent will have water, courtesy of Mr. Castellana, but you should bring a water bottle to fill up & some extra just in case)
-SUNSCREEN (please wear it…)
4) A little message before your CSSRA race(s), and some homework…
As a Westdale coach, but more importantly as a former Westdale rower, I’d like to share two videos that have become ‘tradition’ to a certain extent in the rowing community (particularly at Westdale and Leander Boat Club). Before I share these videos, I’d like to start by saying that I realize I’ve only coached some of you on-water. Despite that fact, I’ve had the priviledge of seeing both those that I coach regularly AND those that I don’t normally coach improve SO much this season. You’ve all come so far from where we were during the indoor season. It’s been thrilling to see you learn and push together as athletes. Now’s your time to “drain the tank” and “leave it all on the race-course”. We’re at our final race(s) of the season. Enjoy every minute of this weekend. Every minute of your race(s). Have fun. Row hard. Leave everything on the water. And, of course, take a moment to watch these two videos tonight before you arrive at Henley Island tomorrow.
CONGRATULATIONS! We’ve made it to the pinnacle of our outdoor rowing season: SCHOOLBOYS. Or, more correctly known as the “Canadian Secondary School Championships” by the “Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association” (CSSRA).
Now that those races are just two days away, I’m posting (and reposting) some very important information. To begin, here are a few things for the parents:
1) Food Signup:
Dina Gadsdon has been coordinating the food signup for the Parents’ Tent, but we still require more families to sign up. She’s created a document giving an overview of how things work for food & the parents’ tent (along with some other tidbits of information), so please click here to check it out: CSSRA Food Signup & Other Info
3) Parent Committee Lead
Lori Prevec has been a long-time leader of the Parents’ Committee, but this will be her final year as her athletes are finishing (or have finished) their time as students & rowers at Westdale. As such, we will be looking for a new Head of the Parents’ Committee. More information will follow – including a description of the main responsibilities – but please keep this in mind & contact me (Alessandra) if you are interested in getting involved in this capacity. Lori has done a FANTASTIC job over the years & we will all miss her, but I’m certain that this will also be a great opportunity for some of the new parents to get involved & see what it’s all about.
Now, for the parents AND the rowers:
1) Preliminary Race Draw:
The preliminary race draw has now been posted. For a copy, please click here: 2014 Preliminary Draw – CSSRAs
This draw WILL change before CSSRAs begins on Friday, so check the main website for any updates:http://www.cssra.ca/
3) Thursday Practice:
All athletes racing CSSRAs are expected to attend Thursday’s practice, unless otherwise discussed with a coach due to availability. All athletes should meet me (Alessandra) at 9:45/9:50am at the entrance to the football field at the back of Westdale Secondary School. We will then take attendance & board the bus. I’ll be supervising the bus ride, and the other coaches will meet us there.
You must bring:
-food (bring a lunch & snacks, please!)
-change of clothes
-workout/training clothes (ideally NOT showing Westdale colours – it’s a tradition to wear non-school clothing so that other crews can’t tell which school you’re from until the day you race 😉 )
-yourself, on time (9:45/9:50am)
***Note: if you are missing any swag OR if you’ve ordered a hat, please speak with Jocelyn or me & we can obtain the swag/hats/etc. from Holly***
4) LAST BUT NOT LEAST… Rigging Details!
The earliest day we can derig is Wednesday morning (tomorrow!). Please discuss with your coach which day you will be derigging.
For my crews (Men & Sr. Women): (names listed indicate the last people to practice in that boat) The following boats can be derigged & loaded on Wednesday AM:
-Chucks (Erik & Max)
-Gadsdon (Eben) 1x (Luke)
-Monaco 1x (Jocelyn)
The following boats can be derigged & loaded on Wednesday PM (after practice):
-Vamosi 1x (Madison)
The following boats can be derigged on Thursday AM (from 6:30-7:30am):
-Ad Astra (Haley, Breanne, Brenna, Madison)
-Justice (Haley, Breanne)
If you’d rather derig all the boats on Thursday morning between 6:30-7:30am, then that’s a-okay with me, but the times above list the EARLIEST time that you can derig & load those boats. All singles have been accommodated on the trailer (thank goodness!).
PS – OMG it’s almost Schoolboys THIS IS SO EXCITING!!! 😀
This is just a friendly reminder that the following things are required soon (especially the emergency contact info):
1) Emergency Contact Info/Waiver – This applies to six athletes (3 men, 3 women) who still need to submit their emergency contact & waiver before continuing with the outdoor season. Please submit these tomorrow morning at practice, or by Tuesday at the latest. ***This is the MOST important thing to submit at this stage of the season.***
2) Outdoor Fees – Outdoor fees can be maid payable to “Westdale Secondary School” with a memo line of “Westdale Rowing – Outdoor Season”. The total cost for rowers is $225, and the cost for the coxswains AND flyweight athletes (there are four of you) is $110.
3) Chili Cookoff Money – Please remember to collect the $20 for each ticket you sell. This fundraising money will then be used to pay partially for the event space, and partially for coxswain boxes & rowing equipment. This can be submitted to Coach Mike.
See you all at practice tomorrow morning at Leander Boat Club (6-8am), followed by the crew breakfast!